Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Tornado Memories

It seems hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago when a massive tornado tore through Murfreesboro, TN. After being fortunate so many times with so many other storms, this one had our name on it, along with many others. We were still fortunate; we walked away alive. Some memories are permanent but time eases some of their discomfort.

We spend our lives trying to get things set. That is to say, we try to get things like we "think" they should be and that the universe owes us to keep it as we expect our illusions to remain. We assume that if we work hard, be good people, attend our local churches and be good neighbors, fathers, mothers, siblings and friends that the universe "owes" us that perceived illusion of comfort and stability. For most of us it is inconceiveable to be comfortably set and wake up the next morning with absolutely nothing except life. Even with nothing but life, one gets a chance to change or increase.

I was listening to a podcast Friday which I heard a phrase that was memorable. Quoted from the podcast, this person was "recession proof." Til this date, I have yet to be recession proof. I dont know anyone personally that is recession proof; oops just thought of one, but only one. I dare say that such "proofness" is time sensitive. Sooner or later, we are all connected. This was a quote from a rockstar mogul. When his fans have no disposable income, then we shall see....

Murfreesboro Tornado

Anywho, Friday a huge tornado(s) roared through Murfreesboro, TN again! Seems like it was only two weeks ago that one touched down. The events that happen unexpectedly tend to refocus us on what is important vs what is desired. I stood in the ocean of rubble thankful for life and the daunting task of cleanup. I fared better than some; maybe most. On the way to our home, three blocks away looked like a false alarm. By two blocks away, part of a roof was sticking out the top of another house. Then it got much worse long before the shock had set in and spiders in the stomach. Turning onto my street, I saw just a hint of apocolypse. The air burned with sirens, crys and thick sadnesses.

Murfreesboro Tornado General Kirk

One's perspective can get switched really quick when times are this drastic. I am a street over from the mother and child who lost their lives. I talked to the last folks to see them alive who didnt realize the reality soon to come. Many wonder why babies die or bad things happen to children. I dont know either; but everything has its reasons. Tornadoes definitely arent choosy; but they do seem precise. There would seem no rhyme or reason how it jumps one house and takes the next two, skips a tree and takes the home behind it, etc. Somehow the aftermath encourages us to forget our differences and ourselves for a moment before returning to the all consuming rat-race of futility.

thinking lizard

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fridakus and Friday Fixin's of Bacon Wrapped Meatballs!

© english.chinatibetnews

Fridaku: Green Face
Young, soft, straight, sparce, green
Like a beard across the earth
Grass sprouts in the Spring.

© Cooking on the Side.

Finally it's that time of the year again that we can all roll up our sleeves and soak up the rays. Spring time is an array of incredible colors and the birth of new hopes and dreams. The grass has that new green look and the trees are littered with buds and bees. This has been a great Friday and the end of it wont be any different. Let's kick off this Friday with an old favorite, Friday Fixins! Can't you smell it already?

Bacon Wrapped Sweet & Sour Meatballs

From the Farmer John California Natural Extra Lean Ground Pork package
Serves 6

1 lb. ground pork
3 slices crustless white bread
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
10 slices bacon, cut in half
1 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying
Wooden toothpicks for securing bacon

Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil for frying
1 – 8 1/4 oz. can pineapple chunks in heavy syrup, juice reserved
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch salt
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger
6 tablespoons ketchup
6 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice

For meatballs: Tear apart the bread into small pieces, soak in milk and mash well in small bowl. In medium bowl, mix the ground pork with salt, garlic powder and pepper, stirring with fork. Drain off the excess milk from the mashed bread and mix with the meat. Make meatballs 1″ in diameter. Wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around each meatball. Use half a toothpick for each meatball to secure the bacon to the meatballs. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs 20-22 minutes until bacon is slightly crisp, turning frequently. Drain on paper towels. Remove toothpicks.

For sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add the pineapple and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients to the pan and bring slowly to a boil stirring continuously until thickened. Allow to simmer 1 minute or until completely clear.

Arrange meatballs on serving platter. Pour sauce over the meatballs. Serve while warm.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 Ultimate Party Tricks

Everybody loves a good trick; how about 10!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Haiku


Photo from the The Kingsley Art Gallery

The Honey's Bee
For the words of Maximus.
Doom is like honey.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

5 Crazy Reasons We Ain’t Crazy Yet

crazy as the joker

I was on Facebook and one of my friends had this quote that stopped me in my tracks. It was so profound I had to read it twice. That’s when I knew what my blog topic was going to be today. Thanks!

“I've heard that it's possible to grow up - I've just never met anyone who's actually done it. Without parents to defy, we break the rules we make for ourselves. We throw tantrums when things don't go our way, we whisper secrets with our best friends in the dark, we look for comfort where we can find it, and we hope - against all logic, against all experience. Like children, we never give up hope...”
Meredith Grey

We break the rules we make for ourselves: I don’t know about you; but I have a few rules over the years that I made for all time that if broken, I believe I deserve whatever I get. Luckily I don’t typically have to learn the same lesson more than twice…but I guess there are always that one or two that seem to haunt or repeat. Why do we live to break the rules? Maybe we inherited it from our parents, Adam and Eve.

We throw tantrums when things don’t go our way: Honestly, I confess to being a bit upset if I don’t get my way. Depending on what the situation, my reaction is minor or major. I’ve gotten better at keeping the demons at bay when its major. I know what hides in the closet and it ain’t pink or pastel or cuddly. I try to focus on how funny the story will be later. In addition, I ask myself, “what can I learn about this or from this event?”

We whisper secrets with our best friends in the dark: I think every sane person has a BFF. These people know so much that your life might surely end if there lips parted. Even more amazing is that they remain your friend. We tend to have to tell someone in spite of or addition to God. Im not sure why, but some level of confession or empting has to happen to feel better at least for a little while.

We look for comfort where we can find it: That might answer a lot of “why” questions that we all seem to get stuck on. Even in the worst of situations that we wish we didn’t care about, we still hate admitting that the why matters. We still seek to understand how or why something we didn’t see or couldn’t imagine happening occurs, especially if we are all human and created equal.

We never give up hope: Hope is either a dessert or an addiction; I’m not sure which. We have all seen or heard stories of someone who had survived some horrific situations only through the strength of hope. Mothers and grandmas have gone to the grave hoping for the safety of their children. In such times as these, we all hope it will get better or that trouble don’t last always. When we are away from our loved ones, we hope someone is looking out for them. The world is suffocating under pressure.